Whether you love the idea of furnishing an office or dread the thought of trying to make everyone happy with your choices, there are a few ways to make the process simpler and less painful.
Involving everyone who has a stake in the process is one way to do it but there will always be people who are unhappy with some of the choices. This can lead to hurt feelings and bruised egos, so it isn’t for everyone. Furnishing every office in the same manner with identical furniture and accessories avoids bruised feelings but signals a definite lack of interest in what your employee’s personal tastes are.
Finding the middle ground between these two extremes will satisfy budget issues and still signify the importance of your workers, but puts more work on the person or persons responsible for finding and buying the furniture.
To keep them happy and your office running smoothly and efficiently, the following tips can turn furniture buying from a nightmare into a pleasant experience:
- Use a single source for all your furniture
Instead of going through multiple sources for your furniture, find a single source for desks, chairs, shelves, and any other furniture your office needs. By using a single source, you can be assured that all the office furniture will have a similar quality and cost. Placing large orders can also lead to discounted prices for your purchases.
- Set a budget for the entire job and for each office/room
Once you have determined the budget for the entire job, break it down to determine the costs allowed per office and workspace. By breaking it down like this you can minimize waste and eliminate mistakes.
If you are letting your employees choose their own furnishings, giving them a budget will insure that no one feels favored at someone else’s expense.
- Think thematically
Deciding on an overall look and enforcing it will keep your office looking uniform. Avoid mismatched furniture, art, and decorations. Everyone has different tastes but your office is for work and shouldn’t look like it was furnished from the back of a discount store.
Simple thematic elements, like specific types of wood for desks and tables, can make an office feel like it is part of a greater whole.
- Get input from your employees
Your employees must work in their offices and should have some input about the furnishings. Whether you follow up on what they want is your choice, but allowing them to express their wants can often lead to better ideas.
- Outsource the process
If the idea of choosing furniture is still anathema to you, outsource the entire process and hire a company to come in and decorate your office. You can dictate budget, theme and many other aspects of the project without having to stress over shopping for office furniture.
No matter what approach you take, make sure that your employees’ desires and wants are part of the process. Involving them is an effective way to encourage teamwork and build company camaraderie. Don’t, however, allow the process to take the place of results. A work space, although important, is just a work space, after all.
When all’s said and done, office furniture is an important part of your business. Your employees will spend hours each day in those surroundings, so your offices should be comfortable. Taking the time and effort to ensure that everyone feels good about their office or workspace is good business.